The University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses could have had a straight-set win on Sunday, but the Adamson University Lady Falcons had other ideas.
UST settled for a five-set triumph, their first debut win in four years. Still, the Tigresses came away unsatisfied – particularly captain Sisi Rondina.
“Ako ‘yung nawala kanina eh. Nilabanan ko lang yung… kasi honestly ako ‘yung nawala kanina,” a dejected Rondina opened the post-match presser.
The graduating captain – who admitted that playing her final year has lingered in her mind – is thankful that she has plenty of help this season. Rookie Eya Laure provided 17 points to match Rondina’s 17, while sophomore Milena Alessandrini added 15.
“And ‘yun ang dapat hindi gawin. Thankful pa rin ako kasi andyan si Eya (Laure), andyan si Milena (Alessandrini) lahat na nag-cover up sa akin. ‘Yan ‘yung team talaga. ‘Yan ang matatawag kong team talaga. Thank you so much. And, binalik ko lang yung tiwala sa sarili ko kanina,” Rondina expressed while looking at a flattered Laure.
“Natakot na ako kay Coach Kungfu. Pero okay lang. Thank you!”
UST head coach Kungfu Reyes acknowledged that Rondina was not at her best against Adamson, but he also recalled their struggle last year. Rondina was incredible every match, winning Best Scorer, but the Tigresses fell to their worst finish in program history.
This season, Reyes knows a balanced effort will be key to their success.
“Ito rin ‘yung team na hinahanap namin, medyo matagal nang nawawala. Last year, alone si Sisi umi-score ng thirty points, pero hindi kami nananalo. Pero ngayon may katulong na siya. So nagiging balanse na yung team. Tao lang rin naman ito, nagkakamali,” shared the enlisted Army official.
“Kailangan ng suporta. This time, sabi niya nga, may back-up na siya kahit papaano.”
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